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  1. #1
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    Raid 0 w/ USB Flash drives in Vista?

    I picked up the bits for a new machine last night, and I was debating readyboost. 4GB flash drives are pretty cheap and I was just going to grab one when I saw that the Egg has free shipping on a 4.99 1GB flash drive. I thought to myself,

    "Hmm, I'll just grab 4 1GB flash drives, convert them to dynamic disks, run them as Raid 0, and get 4 times the performance for the same price as I what I was going to pay for a 4GB drive"

    So, I tried an experiment before purchasing. I grabed an old pair of 512 MB flash drives, formatted them as NTFS, and went to convert them to dynamic disks. Turns you vista tries to protect you from yourself and won't let you convert removable media to dynamic disks.

    Anyone know how to get around Vista and do the conversion?

  2. #2
    Mr.Guvernment's Avatar
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    the speed of them wont even match a single harddrive really.. most USB flash drives are not that fast...

    it is a cheap way but i wouldn't see the speed being over 50MB - 60MB.....

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr.Guvernment View Post
    the speed of them wont even match a single harddrive really.. most USB flash drives are not that fast...

    it is a cheap way but i wouldn't see the speed being over 50MB - 60MB.....
    I was just looking at spending ~$25 for a 4GB readboost drive, not a full on HDD replacement. When I saw the price of the 1GB drives, I immediatly thought RAID 0. 60MB / Sec w/ ~.5ms access time would be pretty sweet for a little bit of swap space, wouldn't it? Especially considering it would cost around $20.

    The only problem is getting the drives converted to dynamic disks...

  4. #4
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    I wonder if changing the drive policy to optimum for performance instead of the default optimum for removal would allow you to mess with the drives. If you want to give it a try just go to the drive properties under device manager.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dermen View Post
    I wonder if changing the drive policy to optimum for performance instead of the default optimum for removal would allow you to mess with the drives. If you want to give it a try just go to the drive properties under device manager.
    Yep, tried that one already, and no it doesn't work. I was on the same train of thought I guess! It appears that any drive marked as removable cannot be made into a dynamic disk.

    I'm guessing its going to require some kind of registry hack to chage the drive from removable to basic to allow the creation of a RAID set. I'm hoping that someone has already done this and I can follow their example.

  6. #6
    Member Wraith's Avatar
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    I have no idea how you would go about this, but it sounds like an outstanding idea!
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  7. #7
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    Just picked up 4x 4GB Cruser Micro flash drives for $8 each. I'm going to convert the flash drives to non removeable drives with the app found here:

    http://www.pendriveapps.com/2008/05/...edia-bit-tool/

    and then create a RAID 0 set. We'll see what kind of performance I can get out of it. If it works really well, I may expand my raid 0 set and see what I can do with it.

  8. #8
    Member Wraith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Endgame124 View Post
    Just picked up 4x 4GB Cruser Micro flash drives for $8 each. I'm going to convert the flash drives to non removeable drives with the app found here:

    http://www.pendriveapps.com/2008/05/...edia-bit-tool/

    and then create a RAID 0 set. We'll see what kind of performance I can get out of it. If it works really well, I may expand my raid 0 set and see what I can do with it.

    Let us know how it goes!!
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  9. #9
    Member JCLW's Avatar
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    Reminds me of this: http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm

    I'm curious to see how well it works for you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCLW View Post
    Reminds me of this: http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm

    I'm curious to see how well it works for you.
    Hopefully its more practical than a Floppy raid array. 16GB should be large enough to actually do something with.

  11. #11
    Member JCLW's Avatar
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    I'm sure it will be a lot more practical.

    Are you going to try and spread them out between different USB controllers or put them all on one hub?
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCLW View Post
    Reminds me of this: http://ohlssonvox.8k.com/fdd_raid.htm

    I'm curious to see how well it works for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by JCLW View Post
    I'm sure it will be a lot more practical.

    Are you going to try and spread them out between different USB controllers or put them all on one hub?

    I'm going to spread them over 2 controllers to start with. Depending on how that works, I'll try moving the drives around to see what it takes to max a controller.

  13. #13
    Member SybrCLocK's Avatar
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    any updates ?
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  14. #14
    New Member mnwcsult's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SybrCLocK View Post
    any updates ?
    I have sifted through many posts about this subject. Has Endgame gotten anywhere with this?

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    oh man, i really want to know how this goes, i got a few USB's lying around

  16. #16
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    Not really sure that there would be much of a performance gain and i think you would also need a USB hub
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  17. #17
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    You would be lucky to see 60MB out of it with all the signaling overhead. 2 or more USB controllers would be needed to exceed the USB transfer limit of 480mbps or 60MBps. I would recommend 2 drives per controller.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hitokiri_808 View Post
    You would be lucky to see 60MB out of it with all the signaling overhead. 2 or more USB controllers would be needed to exceed the USB transfer limit of 480mbps or 60MBps. I would recommend 2 drives per controller.
    I've setup a raid0 with 3 USB drives with a software raid0 under linux on my netbook. I made a 150MB partition on the first one /boot (the bootloader can't be on a software raid), and on each drive I made a 2GB partition for RAID. I get about 59MB/s, which is faster than the the 5400RPM HDD included with the netbook.

  19. #19
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    This was a serious pain in the @ss and I ended up abanoding the idea. Vista is very persistant that you cannot Raid 0 removeable disks unless you hack the Registry, create a new driver for your thumb drives, and go from there. I eventually got it to work, but it would clear the drive on reboot I ended up giving up on the idea -- stupid microsoft.

  20. #20
    Mr.Guvernment's Avatar
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    Stupid MS or no..

    imagine people who would do this, save data then say remove a drive "by accident" then loose their data, they would be blaming MS so fast that it is their fault and not their own stupidity.

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